By Annie Kearns
We all like to think our travel plans will go well and that we will have a great trip. Unfortunately, sometimes things do go wrong and then the whole experience can turn into a disaster. There are things you can do to try and avoid some of these things happening but there are also things that can happen that are out of your control.
What To Do About Common Travel Disasters
The chances of more than one of these things happening to you on the same trip are very slim, but you can never say a disaster will not happen. Wherever possible, it is best to be prepared and then the problem may be solved in a less stressful and quicker way.
You should research the country you are planning to go to in case there are signs of any political unrest. Areas where it is well known will prompt warning from the US government to stay away. Sometimes though, political unrest can happen without warning and you could be caught up in the middle of it.
If this starts to happen where you are, do not get involved and try to move right away from the trouble. Get in touch with the US embassy in that country to see if they are flying people out. This usually depends on how bad the political unrest is. It can be an ongoing situation, in which case they will want all US citizens to return home, or it could be a one-off disturbance that will be over in w few hours.
You should also contact your airline to see if they have made any special arrangements for people to leave the country. Before you start your vacation, make sure that your insurance policy covers political unrest so that any damages or if you need to see a doctor, are all paid for.
There were many millions of pieces of luggage lost last year by US airlines. This means that you should assume they will lose your luggage and be prepared in case this happens. In your carry on bag have all your valuables and important documents, as well as any medication and at least one change of clothes.
Keep a note of what you have packed in your checked in suitcase, and a picture of it could help too. It is best not to leave the airport until you have reported the loss and filed a claim with the airline. Keep calm while you are talking to the staff about the loss but be persistent if they are not very helpful.
No one embarks on a trip expecting to be in a crash, but unfortunately, they happen all the time. Although most of them occur on roads and flying is the safest way to travel, when an airplane accident does happen, the results can be much more catastrophic. It is likely that more people will lose their lives or be seriously injured in an airplane or helicopter crash, and there can be many families left devastated.
Aviation accident lawyers are there to help any victims that survive, and the bereaved families of those that didn’t. However, it’s always good to listen to the stewards when they’re going through safety procedures, and staying clam should the worst happen so that you are more likely to get through the event in as good a way as possible. Don’t worry though – plane crashes are pretty rare.
If Mother Nature decides to misbehave there is no way of avoiding it. Try to stay away from areas that are well-known for volcanoes erupting, tsunami’s, floods or tornadoes. Before you leave, make sure that your insurance covers you in the event of a natural disaster. Many of them don’t and you need to add this additional cover. You could lose everything if this happens, and want to have some financial recourse. You should also find out your airlines policy regarding natural disasters so that you know exactly what to do if one does happen.
The first thing to do and to try and get yourself and your loved ones to safety. This will be a little easier if you can remain calm, and try to encourage the others with you to do the same. There will be chaos, and things such as phones line and will not be working.
Natural disasters are usually reported worldwide, and any family and friends will be worried about you. As soon as you can, let them know that you are OK.
You should follow any instructions from the local rescuers who will be doing their best to get everyone away from the affected area.
Being Mugged Or Robbed
Being mugged or robbed could happen anywhere, including your hometown. It is worse if this happens abroad though, as you will have to deal with police that might not speak the same language and would not always know what their laws say. There are precautions you can take to make yourself less of a target.
Wear a Money Belt
Wear a money belt for your cash and cards. They might not be the most comfortable of things to wear but they could stop you being the victim of a mugger.
Lock Up Original Documents
Have copies of every important document, such as your passport. Take this out with you and leave the originals locked in the hotel safe, or hidden somewhere in your room. It is a good idea to scan and copy these things and send them in an email to yourself so that you also have a copy on your phone.
Keep Emergency Numbers Handy
Have a note of all the numbers to call if the worst should happen, as you will need to put a block on your cards immediately.
Don’t Carry Too Much Cash or Belongings
Don’t carry more cash than you need to and unless you are going to use your cards leave them behind too. The other thing is not to make yourself stand out as a tourist. Put your camera out of sight until you want to use it, as one hanging around your neck has tourist written all over it.
You may have to take your bag out with you, but these are easy to snatch. Have one that wraps around your body and keep it closed at all times. If it has to be one you carry in your hand, always have it on the side away from the road, as that will deter people snatching it as they ride past on bikes or scooters.
What To Do If Your Are Mugged
If this does happen to you, the first thing you must do is report it to the police. If they do not seem too concerned, stay calm and still file a report. If you are going to make a claim on your insurance the first thing they will ask for is a copy of the police report. If your passport was among the stolen items, you need to go to your nearest embassy as soon as possible, The process of getting a new one is cumbersome, but the copy you kept will help. They may also be able to help you with some emergency cash and the canceling of all your cards.